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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

They shot a Robin into Space!!!

Ehy I'm back, after a long lapse due to the weekend in the Ardennes (which has not gone as planned unfortunately - worst than you may think, since the weather was ideal for a long walk in the forest which we were denied by adverse conditions - gr!

Anyway, bak home yesterday, I've seen the latest episode of TopGear: s09e03, for those interested (click on the link to download the torrent :-) ). And, apart from the usual Clarkson's trashing around in an expensive and hyper powered car, the highlight was the attempt of building a no-nonsense, down-to-earth (in all senses) space shuttle from a Reliant Robin (picture below) on the impeccable rationale that it's cheap, and being pointy it already resemble a spaceship.

as you can see, plenty of people think it's suited to become many different things :-)

Anyway, they asked (once again) the help of the Rocketeers, a rocket-fan-club somewhere in England, borrowed a wind tunnel from some University, testing grounds from the Royal Army, and went down there to assemble the whole shebang.

And it did work!!! well, almost... It did lift-off beautifully, with the solid booster detaching themselves at the right moment, just like in the REAL space shuttle, it did turn belly-up to insert into orbit (ah!), but then the explosive bolts supposed to separate the big rocket didn't work out, so that instead of flying down to the grass it tumbled and exploded, leaving a big hole somewhere in northumberland, just off the A68. Well, it was fun!!!

Anyway, here you can check out the whole assembly and stuff. ;-)

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